RMIT University researchers have created wearable sensor patches that detect harmful UV radiation and dangerous, toxic gases such as hydrogen and nitrogen dioxide.
These transparent, flexible electronics – which can be worn as skin patches or incorporated into clothing – are bringing science fiction gadgets closer to real life.
Dr Madhu Bhaskaran, project leader and co-leader of the RMIT Functional Materials and Microsystems Research Group, said the sensors can be placed on work and safety gear to detect dangerous gases.
“Hydrogen leaks can lead to explosions as happened with the Hindenburg disaster and nitrogen dioxide is a major contributor to smog,” she said.
“The ability to monitor such gases in production facilities and coal-fired power stations gives vital early warning of explosions, while the ability to sense nitrogen dioxide allows for a constant monitoring of pollution levels in crowded cities.”
The latest development follows RMIT’s MicroNano Research Facility breakthrough in bendable electronics which has paved the way for flexible mobile phones.
Lead author, PhD researcher Philipp Gutruf, says the unbreakable, stretchy electronic sensors are also capable of detecting harmful levels of UV radiation known to trigger melanoma.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.